Masters of code: Steven Mills achieves the gold standard of code certification
It’s considered the Ph.D. of building safety codes certification. The Master Code Professional (MCP) is the highest level of designation the International Code Council offers and is the “gold standard” for demonstrating proficiency in the code profession. The Code Council has certified thousands of individuals, but only a small select number have attained this high level of achievement: just over 800 MCP professionals worldwide. Their achievements are a benefit to the code enforcement profession as well as their communities.
To obtain this level of certification requires and demonstrates a commitment to the profession, diverse knowledge of codes and a high level of self-initiative. Steven Mills is the latest to join the elite group of Master Code Professionals. In this exclusive feature for the Building Safety Journal, we asked Steven to share his experience on obtaining the MCP designation, highlights of his professional career and any insights or advice he has concerning the industry.
Gainesville, Florida, United States
BSJ: What led you to pursue and obtain MCP certification?
Mills: After many years working independently as a Designer/Builder, I became a State Licensed Building Inspector in Florida. This role required ICC certifications, and to further my career, I obtained the certifications required for the MCP designation.
BSJ: How did you study and prepare for the many exams you took as a part of your MCP designation?
Mills: My approach to exam preparation is to obtain the relevant ICC codes/materials and read them completely. Then I create tabs and highlight important sections, memorizing the locations where each major subject is found for quick reference.
BSJ: What does achieving the prestigious MCP status mean to you?
Mills: It is rewarding to be recognized for the time and effort that went into attaining all the required certifications.
BSJ: How would you describe the value or benefits that have come with the recognition of your MCP status?
Mills: The ultimate value is difficult to assess, but I suspect that it will advance my career trajectory substantively.
BSJ: What advice would you offer to those who are considering pursuing an MCP designation?
Mills: By continuing to add ICC certifications, opportunities for professional advancement increase. Certainly, the steady pursuit of the MCP designation is a logical pathway to achieve maximum success in the Building Code industry.
BSJ: How long have you been in the industry?
Mills: 20 years
BSJ: What major changes have you seen?
Mills: The enhanced accessibility to ICC resources (codes, commentaries, testing, training, etc.) provided by online platforms.
BSJ: What excites you about the future of your industry?
Mills: The continuous improvement in building safety and standards having a profound impact on everyone’s quality of life.
BSJ: What is one piece of advice that you would give to those starting out in the industry?
Mills: The building code industry combines several skillsets and requires determination, discipline, and perseverance to master.
BSJ: Building safety is the focal point of our mission here at the Code Council. What is the importance of building safety to you? How has ICC helped you in your career and commitment to public safety?
Mills: Building safety is more than just codes to me. As a former designer/builder, I created homes as if they were for my family and provided something special for others to enjoy. Likewise, I have upheld that standard throughout the various stages of my career that followed. As such, ICC has been at the center of my professional development for over twenty years.
BSJ: Obtaining all those ICC certifications is quite an accomplishment. What are you going to do now that you have achieved this goal?
Mills: I will continue to offer plan review and code consultation services to architects, engineers, and contractors.
BSJ: Thank you, Steven, and congratulations. You have definitely been an encouragement to us all in your pursuit of excellence.
To earn the Code Council’s elite MCP designation, a candidate must first pass 10 core Code Council exams plus a number of elective Code Council exams. Typical Master Code Professionals hold 17 or more Code Council certifications. The Master Code Professional designation requires certified individuals to complete an additional 60 hours of Continuing Education Units every three years to maintain active status.
“The Master Code Professional certification is the pinnacle of all Code Council certifications, representing a level of effort, knowledge, and dedication that elevates not only the individual achieving it but the code official profession as a whole,” said Code Council Chief Executive Officer Dominic Sims, CBO.
Master Code Professionals are typically responsible for all technical and management aspects of code enforcement with duties that range from the management of a code enforcement department to the supervision of inspectors and plan reviewers.
“Congratulations to Steven on achieving this important and significant accomplishment,” said Autumn Saylor, program services manager of the Code Council’s Assessment Center. “I challenge and encourage all code professionals to strive for this level of achievement, and look forward to congratulating more Master Code Professionals in the future.”
To learn more on how you can join this elite group and let us help you open the door to increased professional challenges and career advancement, click here.